Updated: Sep 29, 2022
Roof inspections are one of the few professional services that are still performed using traditional methods like a ladder and a pair of binoculars. But drones are increasingly being used to perform roof inspections.
Traditionally, depending on what line of work you’re in, you might have to do dozens of roof inspections in a single day. Not only do you put human life at risk whenever you inspect a roof the old-fashioned way, but it’s also very time-consuming
Is it a good idea to use a drone for roof inspections?
Using a drone to do a job that’s been done for years through old-fashioned “boots on the ground” will seem like a stretch, but it can hardly be argued that it’s the better alternative. Here are just some of the best reasons to do a roof inspection job with a drone:
Drones no longer make it necessary to put human lives in peril to do a roof inspection. Surveys have shown that a huge majority of injuries and deaths suffered in the roof inspection industry happen because of falls (no surprise there). By using drones instead, roof inspectors can reduce the risk to human life to virtually zero.
If you were an insurance adjuster who had to visit ten homes in a single day and inspect each roof manually, then you might not even have enough time. Aside from the time and effort spent to climb a roof, you will have to make lots of manual measurements and snap several photos – all with the tentativeness of someone walking on a high-altitude, possibly damaged, roof.
According to roof inspection companies, using a drone allows them to finish jobs three times faster than if they did them using traditional methods. This capability also lets them offer more premium services because they can commit to shorter turnover times and more detailed roof inspection reports.
3. Inspect Difficult Areas
A disadvantage of walking around on top of a roof while taking measurements is that there are simply areas that cannot be accessed by people. Whether it’s an overhanging feature or a small recessed section, drones are more equipped to get up close and personal with these inaccessible areas.
4. Low Cost
A professional roof inspection crew will come with a truck full of ladders, cameras, ropes, harnesses, and measuring tapes to do a detailed inspection job. A drone-based roof inspector will arrive on-site with just the drone – nothing else. Doing a roof inspection using a drone is logistically simpler. In turn, it is also faster and cheaper. Even an ultra-portable drone that fits in a small backpack can do a roof inspection job according to professional standards.
5. 3D Models
Camera drones aren’t just for capturing high-definition photographs of the condition of your roof, but aerial photos can also be combined to create a 3D model. This is done through a method called photogrammetry – a technique of 3D modeling that uses multiple photos of a single object.
The benefit of being able to create a 3D model from a roof is that you can virtually revisit the site anytime. You can also take length, area, and volume measurements from the 3D model. With a 3D model, there’s no detail on the inspection job that you can miss, as you can simply review the model anytime.
6. Automated process
Drone-based aerial surveys are done via specially designed mobile apps that can automate almost the entire process. This leaves no room for human error and ensures that the drone captures shots from all the essential angles. Moreover, all the shots can be automatically synced to a cloud server where they can be processed quickly to create 3D models or downloaded to a remote workstation. This is a great way to streamline post-processing so you can deliver results faster.
Drones can really help your roofing business save money and run more efficiently. Please reach out to us if you are interested in partnering with us on your next roof inspections.